This post is in praise of something quite small, quite humble, but incredibly useful: the Sticky note: I love them and as an organisational tool they have much to recommend them. Here are a dozen uses for these little notes, some of which you might not have thought of.
1. Blinding flashes of memory.
You are in the middle of task A & realise you need to do Task B on Thursday. Scribble on a sticky note & stick it to Thursday’s diary page.
2. Planning a large project?
Create your project plan on a whiteboard or giant roll of paper. Allocate a different colour sticky note for each project phase, type of task or person involved and you can move them around until your project is streamlined and effective. If you are looking for ways to bring your project in on time and under budget, check out some of my tips for project planning here and here.
3. Retrieve the label or spine card from the ring binder.
You know the ones… little plastic window with a bit of card in it… you can spend days trying to tease that bit of card out of the window so you can turn it over and write on it, by which time it tends to look as though it has been chewed by locusts. OR, you can poke the corner of a sticky note down the window, press hard to make the sticky note adhere to the card insert, and carefully pull the card out.
4. Use the sticky side to clean out your keyboard.
Push the sticky part in between the keys and drag it back and forth to clean the sides of the keys.
5. Motivation or Reminder
Stick them to household items like mirrors or doors to remind you to do, or not do something. Whether that is aimed at changing a habit or just a reminder to pick up the dog food. They are great for reminding you to put petrol in the car. Stick it to the steering wheel.
6. All Together Now
Fold a note over two pieces of paper to keep them together when you can’t find a paper clip.
7. Where was I again?
Book marks… they don’t mark the book, but equally, they don’t fall out either so your place is safe.
8. Don’t be a Vandal
Make notes in books that you cannot, or do not want to, write in.
9. Avoid Conflict
Planning seating charts. Move everyone about until you are quite certain that you’ve seated everyone in a way that minimises the risk of World War Three breaking out over the starters.
9. Flag it up
Use as flags in books and long documents to index them. You can also use a colour code to denote particular concepts if your document is long and complicated. For more ideas for using colour coding to increase your organisation, check out this blog post.
11. File it and Find it
Cut the sticky edge off and use it as a temporary file label. You can also use them, with the addition of Sellotape around the edges, as a more permanent file label solution and even colour code files with them.
12. Reduce Stress
Label items that are going into different boxes or rooms when you are planning your house move. This will make it quicker to box up the items at the last minute or will help the movers to box things up logically if you are having them pack for you. Sticky labels or permanent marker pen are recommended for the main box labelling.
There are, of course, a range of other uses for these versatile little notes, including sticking them to your head as part of a game of “Guess who I am?”, sticking them over the standby light on the TV in a hotel room to stop the light keeping you awake, cutting them up to make miniature paper chains, and a whole host of other inventive ideas which are outside the scope of this article. However, a quick Google search will bring up a great array of ideas for you to choose from.
Whether you need organisational support, or someone to research an area of interest and present a short report on your options, your VA can help you with these and lots more tasks besides. To find out more about how a VA could help you to get organised and save time, click here.